Created: November 14, 2019 10:34 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.— Some foster families said they are struggling to get reimbursed for the cost of caring for their foster children.
Former foster parent turned advocate Christi Boomer said sometimes foster families need more for extra expenses like a car seat, extracurricular activities or vacation. Those costs are supposed to be reimbursable expenses.
“The general cost per day doesn't cover inviting a child into your home and making them a part of your family for how ever long they need,” Boomer said.
Foster families receive a monthly stipend to help cover the cost of child care.
“There are a lot of foster families right now that have outstanding reimbursements due to them, some in excess of a thousand dollars,” Boomer said.
Boomer said she thinks reimbursements are lost in an overcrowded system. She gave up on her own reimbursements from 2016.
“Vacation time activities that I’d enrolled my children in that I was expecting to be reimbursed for that I did not receive reimbursement and then mileage for transporting my kids to visits with relatives in excess of 400 at least with the daily visits,” she said.
CYFD sent out a letter that said they are working to address the backlog by hiring additional staff members.
A CYFD spokesperson said the administration inherited a cumbersome process for reimbursements. They are trying to create an automated payment processing module instead.
Until that solution is up and running, foster families are frustrated.
“I know if I handled my personal finances the way that some of this is being handled I would be in a world of hurt,” Boomer said.
KOB 4 asked CYFD about how much money is owed and to how many people.
CYFD has not provided those numbers.
They will have an open forum Nov. 16 for people to voice concerns and weigh in on how to improve the system.
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